Tirpitz' Radar

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Dave Saxton
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Re: Tirpitz' Radar

Postby Dave Saxton » Fri Dec 30, 2016 6:19 am

I was under the impression that the Wellington Bomber raid on the Wilhemshaffen naval base was detected by a GEMA Freya radar (2.4m wavelength) rather than GEMA SeeTakt(80cm) The Luftwaffe operated Freya was operational at the time though I imagine the Kriegsmarine had sets.


It was detected by both Seetakt and Freya stations. The Seetakt station was demonstrating how it operated to a group of admirals when it detected the incoming raid at 113 km. The operator called the Freya station to confirm. The Freya station reported that it had the same pips and had been observing them for sometime. So the Freya had detected the raid from an even greater range.

) but what is "Sophie"?


It was GEMA's answer to Hohentwiel FuMO61 using a u-boat FuMO30 antenna, initially. It operated at 400 kw output. I don't recall off hand if it was designated FuMO31 or FuMO32?

The lack of 120kW modulators might have left the Germans vulnerable to broadband noise jamming and for blind fire control that the extra power was essential to spotting shell splash at long range.


Indeed the Duke of York used a noise jammer against the Scharnhorst. After a hit to Duke of York's mast disabled the jammer, Scharnhorst's shooting significantly improved. Seetakt was already frequency agile, however, and the British had been using noise jamming against it since Feb 1941.

(shell splash spotting must be important, perhaps it was Duke of Yorks advantage in the ballet of North Cape with Scharnhorst in part due to more output power but also due to her bigger 14 inch shells vs Scharnhorsts 11 inches).


In June 1941, Seetakt directing an 11-inch shore battery at night during blind fire operations, was able to detect 11-inch shell splashes and then correct the MPI to obtain hits at ranges of 33km. Late war, a KTB for a Seetakt shore station on south Norway reported that it could distinguish individual shell splashes from the target ship during long range blind fire operations. The Artillery Command for Ships, after examining Bismarck's radar facilities, suggested ways how the radar's shell splash spotting abilities could be better utilized.

(Note the Italian Navy mounted FuMO 26 on its destroyers whereas the Germans only got them into battleships and heavy cruisers)


I have seen photos of German destroyers sporting the 6x2 meters FuMO26 antennas, and also Berlin radomes. Berlin was obvious for deployment on smaller warships and craft such as S boats. Hohentwiel was not very practical on S boats because those experimental Hohentwiel models tested in this application did not offer PPI. So they waited on Berlin production to catch up. Seetakt sets supplied to the Italians had the fine ranging and fine bearing systems omitted.
Entering a night sea battle is an awesome business.The enveloping darkness, hiding the enemy's.. seems a living thing, malignant and oppressive.Swishing water at the bow and stern mark an inexorable advance toward an unknown destiny.


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